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April 17, 1992 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-04-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

TORAH PORTION

1992
April
SMTWTFS
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 216 23 24 25
30
26 27 28

CIRCLE THESE
DATES

for

DAY SCHOOL

HILLEL

Matzah's Message:
Time To Act Is Now

SHLOMO RISKIN

Special to The Jewish News

Wednesday, April 29th

S

Wednesday, May 27th

ANNUAL DINNER

Mat Shalom Synagogue

Honoring:

RC)SALYki S

Group Apartments
for the Elderly

A Jewish Family Service Program
Since 1979

• Luxurious apartments, with private bedrooms, for shared living.
• Supportive care provided by Geriatric Care Workers and Social
Workers.
If someone you know desires a family-like setting,

please call Zena Baum or Jan Bayer at 5594500.

pvq JEWISH
FAMILY

SERVICE

Limited space is currently available.
Limited subsidies available.
Endowed by the Coville-Triest Family Foundations.

10.00 OFF

GET YOUR NEXT PAIR OF

SANSABELT

(with ad)'

THE AREA'S
LARGEST
IN STOCK SELECTION
WITH GUARANTEED
BEST PRICE!
GLIDERS FROMS168.00

slacks at a sensible price.
Why pay more when we
offer them at discount?
We even include FREE
tailoring. Discount prices
start at:

(_ & 0440 t<• ROCKERS .$98.00

$36plenty

of
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sizes 32-60

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21325 Telegraph

3337 Auburn Rd

(1 Mile ,Jest of -dams

;

Auburn Hills 853.7440

50

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 1992

I

1992
May
SMTWTFS
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
21 22 23
17 18 19
28 29 30
24 25 261
31

(Just North of B Mile)

Southfield 948.1060

JOHN R MEN'S WEAR
543-4646

M-Th 9:30-6:30, Fri. & Sat. 9:30-8, Sun. 11-5
1 mom a roan R Take 1-75 to V Mile

4

ince bread is the staff
Of life, one could con-
ceivably imagine a
festival in any number of
cultures emphasizing the
miracle of wheat turning in-
to a miraculous loaf of bread,
a kind of universal celebra-
tion of thanks, the mother of
all Thanksgivings. But what
can one say about a festival
that honors a cracker-like
often hand-baked, substance,
difficult to chew, exhausting
to prepare, which must be
continuously watched (since
the fulfillment of its re-
quirements is meticulously
exacting).
Passover is also referred to
as "the time of our freedom"
and extols the virtues of
freedom over the ignominy of
slavery. But how does a na-
tion merit freedom? If we
study the contrast between
bread and matzah, we shall
glean significant insights in-
to the heart of Passover and
the road to freedom.
Unlike matzah, bread is the
desired result of my mixture
of dough and water. It's what
I expect; it's what I want, and
it's natural. If I take wheat,
rye, barley, oats or spelt and
let it naturally ferment and
bake, what I get is bread. This
is another way of saying that
chametz is the way of the
world.
If I want matzah, however,
I have to disturb the baking
process. I cannot allow nature
to take its course. I must work
the dough, watching the
clock, rolling and pounding
the dough to remove air bub-
bles. And I dare not allow the
entire process to last longer
than 18 minutes or else
fermentation, or leavening,
will take place.
If the matzah is a metaphor
for our own realities, it means
that if we want to achieve
freedom; we cannot afford to
let nature take its own
course; we must purposefully
step in to redirect the natural
order. In practical terms,
everyone is aware of how
often we put off major deci-
sions by saying that we're not
ready: wait till the children
are born, or until I retire, and
then, and then, and then .. .

The value of the 18-minute
deadline is that it tells us
that we have to start from
where we are right now.

Rabbi Riskin is chief rabbi of
the city of Efrat and dean of
Ohr Torah Institute of Israel.

Otherwise every time the
19th minute arrives, we enter
the domain of chametz relying
on the natural order to do the
work for us. Whoever said
freedom will arrive perfectly
baked, a crusty pumpernickel
bread having risen to its full
roundness?
Evidence for this comes
from the Exodus itself. Had
the Jews waited until they
were ready for redemption,
we'd still be there today sunk
in the morass of the 49th
degree of impurity. We were
slaves, bound to Pharaoh;
then came the commandment
to prepare the paschal lamb
and to slaughter it — an act
of rebellion against Pharaoh
since the lamb was an Egyp-
tian god.
We were hardly prepared
for a revolution, we were

Passover:
Exodus 12:21-51
Numbers 28:16-25
Joshua 5:2-6:1, 27

hardly ready to confront the
Egyptian despot. Neverthe-
less, the Bible commands us
to prepare the first freedom
seder when still in Egypt,
that we begin to strike out for
the - light of freedom even
when we are still in the midst
of darkness: "You must eat it
with your waist belted, your
shoes on your feet, and your
staff in your hand, and you
must eat it in haste." (Exodus
21:11)
"In haste" means before the
Jewish people were ready —
but also before it was too late.
In life, timing is everything.
If you come a minute late, you
miss the plane. So often the
message is speed. Even
.though we don't sacrifice a
paschal lamb today, Jewish
law still requires that we
finish the meal before mid-
night, just as the lamb had to
be finished before midnight in
Egypt. The Jews began their
rebellion before the 10th
plague (the destruction of the
Egyptian firstborn) had
begun, before the circum-
stances were optimal, before
success could be achieved
logically and naturally.
In 1948, many Jews were
convinced that Israel should
not declare statehood but
ought rather to wait for
events to take their natural
course. The reasons were con-
vincing. How could a nation of
600,000 fight a war against a
powerful Moslem bloc with
jihad (holy war) on its lips?

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